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build the third temple, mentioned by Ezekiel; restore the sacrifices, and cause the law of Moses to be most strictly observed. But that which is the head of all, he shall free the Jews from their captivity, restore them to their own land, make princes and lords of them all, giving them the wealth of all nations, either conquered by him, or brought voluntarily to him; feast them on Behemoth, Zis, and the wine of

paradise; so that they shall see want and poverty no more.

This is the substance of their persuasion, concerning his coming, person, office, and work. When he shall come, whether he shall live always, or die at an hundred years old; whether he shall have children, and if he have, whether they shall succeed him in his throne; whether the Jews that are dead, shall rise at his coming, and their galgal, or rolling in the earth, from all parts of the world, into the land of Canaan, shall then happen or no; whether the general resurrection shall not succeed then immediately upon his reign, or at least within forty years after; or how long it will be to the end of the world, they are not at all agreed. But this is the substance of their persuasion and expectation; that he shall be a mere man, that the deliverance which he shall effect, shall be mighty wars, wherein the Jews shall be always victorious, and that, in the dominion and rule which they shall have over all nations, the third temple shall be built, the law of Moses be observed by him and them, and the Noachical precepts be imposed on all others. As for any spiritual salvation from sin and the curse of the law, of justification and righteousness by him, or the procurement of grace and glory, they utterly reject all thoughts about them.

$9. With these opinions, many of them have mixed prodigious fancies, rendering their estate under the



Messiah in this world not much inferior to that which Mahomet hath promised to his followers in another. And some of them, on the other hand, endeavor to pare off what superfluities they can spare, and to render their folly as plausible as they are able. Wherefore, that it may appear what is the utmost height of their conceptions in this matter, and what the most contemplative persons amongst them fix upon, I subjoin a description of him and his kingdom, in the words of Maimonides, one of the wisest and soberest persons that hath been amongst them, since their last fatal dispersion. Observing the fond and frivolous imaginations of their Talmudical masters, about the Messiah, he gives many rules and instructions about the right understanding of their sayings, to free them from open impieties and contradictions; to which he subjoins, as he supposeth, the true notion of the Messiah and his kingdom, in the ensuing words: “As to the days of the “Messiah, they are the time when the kingdom shall be “restored to Israel, and they shall return to Palestine. “And this king shall be potent, the metropolis of whose “kingdom shall be Sion; and his name shall be famous “to the uttermost parts of the earth. He shall be "greater than Solomon, and with him shall the nations “make peace, and yield him obedience, because of his "justice, and the miracles that he shall perform. If any "one shall rise against him, God shall give him up into “his hand to be destroyed. All the scripture declares “his happiness, and the happiness we shall have by him. “Howbeit, nothing in the nature of things shall be “changed, only Israel shall have the kingdom; for so “our wise men say expressly, There is no difference “between these days and the days of the Messiah; but “only the subduing the nations under us.” So, indeed, says R. Samuel, and some others of them. But he

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goes on, “In those days victuals shall be had at an "easy rate, as if the earth brought forth cates and “clothes.” And afterwards; “The Messiah shall die, Cand his son, and his son's son, shall reign after him; “but his kingdom shall endure long, and men shall live “long in those days; so that some think his kingdom “shall continue a thousand years. But the days of the “Messiah are not so much to be desired, that we may “have store of corn and wealth, ride on horses, and “drink wine with music; but for the society and con“versation of good men, the knowledge and righteous"ness of the king, and that then, without wearisome“ness, trouble, or constraint, the whole law of Moses "shall be observed."*

This is the sum of the creed of the most sober part of the Jews, concerning the Messiah, whom they look and long for; for the same author tells us, that there were very few so minded; generally they look after nothing but dominion, wealth, and pleasure. But all of them own him a temporal king, a mighty warrior, subduing the nations to the Jews; a furious Camillus, or an Alexander, or a Cæsar; of redemption from sin, death, and hell; of pardon of sin, justification, and righteousness; of eternal salvation by him, they know nothing, they believe nothing. Maimonides thinks, indeed, that his kingdom shall long continue; not like Manasse of late, who supposeth, that it might not abide above forty years, and those immediately preceding the day of judgment. When he comes, let them make their best of him; we have already received the “Cap“tain of our salvation.”

$10. But what seduced them into these low, carnal, and earthly imaginations.

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*Maimon. in Tract. Saned. cap. x.

1. Ignorance of their miserable condition by nature, both as to sin and wrath, justly claims the first place. The Messiah, as we proved at large, was first promised to relieve mankind from that state, whereinto they were cast by the apostasy of Adam, the common root and parent of them all. Such as are men's apprehensions of that condition; such also will be their thoughts concerning the Messiah, who was promised to be a deliverer from it. They who know themselves to be cast out of the favor of God, by sin, made obnoxious to his eternal displeasure, and disabled to do any thing that shall please him (as being cast into a state of universal enmity against him) must needs look on the Messiah, promised through the grace, goodness, and wisdom of God, to be one that must, by suitable ways and means, free them from sin and wrath; procure for them the favor of God; enable them to serve him again acceptably, and so bring them at length to their chief end, the everlasting enjoyment of himself. Upon the matter, the Jews know no misery, but what consists in poverty, captivity, and want of rule and dominion. And what should a spiritual Redeemer do to these men? What beauty and comeliness can he have, for which he should be desired?

$11. 2. Ignorance of the righteousness of God, both as to what he requireth, that a man may be justified before him, and of his judgment concerning the desert of sin, hath the same effect upon them, Rom. x, 3,4. The great end for which the Messiah was promised, as we have in part declared, and shall afterwards be farther evinced, was to make "atonement for sin,” and bring in an “everlasting righteousness,” Dan. ix, 24. A righteousness was to be brought in, that might answer the justice of God, and abide its trial. There is not any thing that more openly discovers the miserable

blindness of the present Jews, than the consideration of what they insist upon as their righteousness before God. The faith and obedience of their forefathers, the · privilege of circumcision, some outward observances of Mosaical precepts, with anxious scrupulous abstinences, self maceration, prayers by tale and number, and the like bodily exercises, are the sum of what they plead for themselves. Now, if these things, which are absolutely in their own power, will make up a righteousness acceptable to God, cover all the sins whereof they know themselves to be guilty, to what end should they look for a Redeemer, “to bring in everlasting “righteousness,” or make atonement for sin? Why should they look out for a relief in this case, seeing they have enough at home to serve their turns? Let them that are “weary and heavy laden” seek after such a Deliverer; they have no need of him, or his salvation. According, therefore, as this building of self righteousness went on and prospered amongst them, faith in the Messiah, as to the true ends for which he was promised, decayed every day more and more, until at length it was utterly lost. For, as our apostle tells them, “if righteousness were by the law, the prosómise of the Messiah was to no purpose;" and if the law made things perfect, the bringing in of another priesthood and sacrifice was altogether needless.

As to their judgment of God, concerning the desert of sin; their afflictions and persecutions, the death of their children, and their own death; especially if it be of a painful distemper, they suppose will make a sufficient propitiation for all their sins. Such mean thoughts have they of the majesty, holiness, and terror of the Lord! Of late also, lest there should be a failure on any account, they have found out an învention to give their sins to the Devil, by the sacrifice of a cock,

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